Medical Malpractice Laws and Rules in Delaware
Often times the medical care we all depend on ends up harming us more than helping. In such an event, it is good to know that there are options to help us recover compensation for our injuries. However, in order to file a successful medical malpractice claim, there are some stringent rules that you must be aware of first. Although before we dive into these regulations, let’s quickly define medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is when a person has been harmed or otherwise affected negatively by sub-standard or entirely negligent medical care. This definition carries a fairly blatant meaning, but proving a medical malpractice claim can be a nightmare. In Delaware, like any other state, there are a set of guidelines to follow if you feel like you have a strong claim.
Statute of Limitations
Most claims for any type of personal injury come with a strict time limit or statute of limitations. This is a deadline for which you can file a claim. In Delaware, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim is two years from the date of injuries imposed by a medical professional. This means that you must file your claim within two years from the date of the medical care that caused you harm. However, there is an additional year put in place for cases in which the injury was detected after the medical care was provided. Basically, the longest allotted time frame is three years, but only if the injury could not be reasonably discovered any earlier.
Like most rules, there is a small exception to these deadlines. If a medical provider has taken measures to conceal the nature of their malpractice, then the statute of limitations is put on hold. This pause in the deadline can be extended until the time you discover or should have reasonably discovered your injury. Of course, you will need to prove that the medical provider intentionally hid the malpractice from you. In Delaware, there is one other provision in regards to the statute of limitations that applies to children. If a child is under the age of six, the claim must be filed within two years or from the date of the child’s sixth birthday.
Your First Steps
It is important to know that in Delaware, the statute of limitations does not stop ticking until you first file an “affidavit of Merit.” This is an affidavit that must be filed when you first make your legal claim against a medical professional or institution. This affidavit is the testimony of another medical professional who can concretely state that you have a viable claim. Without this sworn affidavit, the deadline to file keeps on running. Because of these strict time guidelines and other basic laws, it is certainly in your best interest to have a qualified medical malpractice attorney with you every step of the way.
At Edelstein, Martin & Nelson, our attorneys are passionately familiar with every law and rule that surrounds medical malpractice. We take pride in fighting for every penny of compensation that you deserve for the negligent act committed upon you. If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical provider, and you are looking to file a medical malpractice claim, call (302) 295-5050 to schedule a free consultation today.